Toilets that won’t stop running, leaky faucets, and blocked drains; these are just a few of the basic plumbing issues that a homeowner should be able to address without needing to hire a plumber.
Unfortunately, there are times when addressing simple problems that arise in your home can be harder than you’d think. There is plenty that can go wrong.
Before you tackle any of these problems, make sure that you’re not about to make any glaringly obvious errors that could make matters worse.
Here are eight of the most common plumbing mistakes that you should avoid.
- Not Turning Off the Water in an Emergency
Whenever you get a leak or any form of a plumbing emergency, the first thing that you should do is to turn off your water at the mains. Whenever you notice any type of problem with your water, you should turn your water off at the valve.
The next step that you should take when you have a plumbing emergency is to call a plumber. Before you start phoning around for a plumber, you’ll need to make sure that your home is not flooding around you. This is why the water needs to be turned off.
Many people don’t turn off the water straight away. Instead, they see the water spilling out of a burst pipe or an overflowing toilet, and they just mop it up. Don’t make this very basic mistake.
- Putting Things Down the Toilet That Don’t Belong There
It may be common sense, but you shouldn’t attempt to flush anything down the toilet that doesn’t belong there. This includes feminine products. Anything that doesn’t belong there could easily cause a blockage quite easily, and you’ll end up with a flooded toilet.
Getting a blockage out is often not so easy. In some cases, it may be necessary to completely remove the toilet to clear whatever is stuck in the pipe.
- Overusing Drain Cleaning Products
Often, when a drain gets clogged, people will turn to drain cleaners in the hopes of shifting the blockage. There are only certain situations in which drain cleaners will work, though. By using them too often, you run the risk of corroding your pipes.
A chemical drain cleaner works by breaking down whatever is causing the blockage in your pipes. When you rely on them too much, they’ll eventually start to eat the inside of your pipes too.
You could opt for natural solutions such as using vinegar and baking soda when it comes to cleaning out your drains. If you are able to pull any built-up hairs out of your drains, this will be better than relying on drain cleaner.
If your drain is clogged and you cannot remove the blockage yourself, think about calling a plumber.
- Not Treating Your Hard Water
On the subject of taking care of your pipes, if you live in an area where the water is naturally hard, you may find that the mineral build-up will leave unsightly marks on your faucets and fixtures.
Not only will this type of water affect the outside of your plumbing, but it will also damage your pipes from the inside.
Check out the Culligan water softener cost and have a water softener system fitted in your home to help reduce the impact of hard water on your plumbing.
- Taking Apart the Faucet and Forgetting How It Goes Back Together Again
When your faucet is leaking, it can be quite easy to take it apart to replace a broken washer. But when it comes to putting it back together when you’re done, well, that might not be so simple.
It can be very easy to forget the order that things came off the faucet in. If you want to save yourself a lot of stress, make sure you lay all of the pieces down in the order they came off. Take photos along the way and take things slowly.
- Turning off Your Water Heater in the Winter
When you head away for a winter break anywhere, you may very well be tempted to try and save a few dollars on the heating bill. After all, you won’t be at home, so why have it turned on all of the time?
It is essential that you leave your water heater switched on. You can reduce the temperature slightly or have the heating on for less time, but it must stay on.
This is because your pipes could freeze. If your pipes freeze, they are likely to burst too.
- Starting a Job and Not Having the Right Tools to Finish it
This is one of those common plumbing mistakes which should be filed in the box marked ‘rookie errors.’ Without the right tools for the job, you may not be able to get anything done.
Using the wrong tool may cause damage to the plumbing. For instance, if you need a Phillips head screwdriver, but you only have a flat-head, you may end up wearing down the screw heads.
Find out what you’re going to need before you start the job and make sure you have everything to hand.
- Over-Tightening Connections
When it comes to plumbing fixtures such as pipe fittings, supply tubes, and toilet bolts, it can be very easy to overtighten them.
This common plumbing mistake leads to fittings becoming cracked. Although you may not see the crack straight away, the excessive force of the over-tight fitting may cause it to break days, weeks, or even months later. This could result in flooding in your home.
Avoiding Common Plumbing Mistakes
Avoiding common plumbing mistakes means making sure that you have the right tools for the job. If you can’t do something yourself, make sure you call a plumber to do it for you.
In the long run, it is better to know your own limits than to make costly mistakes, which cost more to put right.
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